Sunday, December 31, 2006
ID Across the Sea
The Times of London is reporting that the British government has cleared the way for Intelligent Design to be taught in Britain’s schools as part of the religious syllabus.
Lord Adonis, an education minister, is to issue guidelines within two months for the teaching of "intelligent design" (ID), a theory being promoted by the religious right in America.
Until now the government has not approved the teaching of the controversial theory, which contradicts Darwinian evolutionary theory, the basis of modern biology.
Adonis said in a parliamentary answer: "Intelligent design can be explored in religious education as part of developing an understanding of different beliefs."
Strangely, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State weighed in:It has emerged that 12 prominent academics wrote to Tony Blair and Alan Johnson, the education secretary, last month arguing that ID should be taught as part of science on the national curriculum.
They included Antony Flew, formerly professor of philosophy at Reading University; Terry Hamblin, professor of immunohaemotology at Southampton University; and John Walton, professor of chemistry at St Andrews University.
Robert Boston, a spokesman for the group, warned against the teaching of ID in Britain.
He said it "could possibly leave an entire generation of people not capable of meeting the scientific challenges of this century".
As an example of that attitude in Britain, Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark, said:
Everything needs to be explored, so that children can ask sensible questions. Though I see no huge difficulty with exploring intelligent design or creationism or flat Earth, they happen to be misguided, foolish and flying in the face of all evidence. I see no problem with Darwinian theory and Christian faith going hand in hand.On the other hand, Canon Jeremy Davies, Precentor of Salisbury cathedral, said:
I don’t see why religious education should be a dumping ground for fantasies. If it is claimed that this is a scientific theory, why isn’t it explored in science classes? Its validity or otherwise should be tested against the usual criteria.